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Poster: Lou Davenport Date: Oct 22, 2008 3:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Mp3 Conversion Question

Hey Kochman! My 2 cents:

320 sure sounds better than 128 or 192. Still, it sounds a bit smoother and simpler than lossless. But even on a really good stereo, I need to listen closely to pick out the lost details. I've never done a blind test of that, largely because blind tests are really tiring and kind of cumbersome to arrange. Also, there's often not one particular difference so much as a more natural sound and a better sense of space in the lossless.

What you most want to listen for is not the tones themselves so much as the timbre of the instruments, the separation between sounds, and the ambient noise. It's clearest on acoustic recordings.

That said, even decent sounding non-commercial SBDs have been subtly distorted enough at one or another stage in their history that I wouldn't be eager to use them as test material to distinguish 320 from lossless. I'd start with a nice commercial release from the 70s, or maybe Wake of the Flood.

Most FLACs compress to 550-700kbps, so 320 has about half as much information, which isn't that far away considering the efficiency of mp3 compression.

Bose speakers are more mid-fi than hi-fi, though still a hell of a lot better than the crappy equipment most people listen with these days.